Hamburg, in German officially called Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg (Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg), is a city-state in northern Germany and the country's second largest city. The port city is located on the southern end of the Jutland Peninsula, directly between continental Central Europe to her south, Scandinavia to her north, the North Sea to her west, and the Baltic Sea to her east. Hamburg borders the German states of Schleswig-Holstein to the north and Lower Saxony to the south.
The Elbe river flows through the Port of Hamburg, which is the third-largest port in Europe. With a population of approximately 1.8 million people, it is the second-largest city in Germany and eighth largest city in the European Union. Hamburg has a total area of 755 km2 (292 sq mi).
Hamburg was an independent and sovereign state of the German Confederation (1815–66), a city-state the North German Confederation (1866–71), the German Empire (1871–1918) and during the period of the Weimar Republic (1919–33). In Nazi Germany Hamburg was a Gau from 1934 until 1945. After the Second World War, Hamburg was in the British Zone of Occupation and became a state of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949.